China's strong Q2 GDP growth paves way for deeper reforms

Nigeria’s Finance Minister Kemi Adeosun

Nigeria’s Finance Minister Kemi Adeosun

CHINA'S economy expanded 6.9 percent from a year earlier in the second quarter of this year, flat with the growth rate in the first three months, the National Bureau of Statistics said this morning.

The second quarter numbers put the economy on a strong footing to meet China's growth target of around 6.5 percent in 2017, which would give policymakers room to defuse financial risks.

China's Gross Domestic Product (GDP) grew by 6.9 percent in the first half of 2017, beating market expectation.

On a sequential basis, economic growth improved to 1.7% from 1.3%.

Retail sales meanwhile rose 11.0 percent in June from a year ago, better than Reuters' forecast of 10.6 percent.

Beijing is trying to rein in debt and a housing bubble with tough measures on the property sector and lenders.

"(The new data) is encouraging for global growth as well because China is the second largest economy on the planet", said Craig James, chief economist at Commonwealth Securities in Sydney.

Last week's data showed that China's exports, as well as imports in June, grew more than expected from a year before, which may offset sluggishness in other parts of the economy in the second quarter of this year. In the first half, retail sales advanced 10.4%.

Communist leaders are eager to keep economic conditions steady as they head into a ruling party congress later this year at which President Xi Jinping is due to be named to a second five-year term as leader.

Growth in both exports and imports was also higher than expected.

Urban investment also rose 8.6% annually in the first six months of the year, official data showed.

Last quarter's growth momentum had continued into the current one, he said, noting that traditional economic indicators such as power generation and consumption, and new business orders had increased "significantly".

"China's economy is operating within a reasonable range, maintaining stable, coordinated and sustainable development, laying a solid foundation for achieving the annual target", Xing said. The string of growth will set the groundwork for the government to tackle economic challenges ahead of the re-selection of China's Central Committee later this year.

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